Brad Singleton is preparing for his first taste of ‘The Derby’, and his involvement will only add to a surreal year for the Cumbrian.
The prop, who grew up as a Wigan fan, will get his first taste of a game he remembers watching as he dreamt of playing the game professionally.
He will now get that opportunity this Friday, when the Warriors clash with St Helens on Friday, a game he believes is up there as one of the biggest in the sport.
“They’re two powerhouse sides,” he said.
“It’s no secret that it’s alongside the Hull derby as the biggest in Super League. I’m looking forward to it.
“I always remember that Easter time period when it would always be on. Everyone remembers that big scrap, but I think over the last few years you can see the speed of the game is a lot quicker than most.
“There’s something Origin-esque about it. I’ve not been involved, just saying it as someone watching from afar, but from speaking to people who have been involved, there’s more speed to it.
“Once you’re in the derby you have to adapt. It will be great to experience.”
He continued: “For me it’s just surreal that I’m playing this year. It’s been a crazy year. If I just press pause when I had no club, my knee was in a brace then there was a lockdown. So to be involved in a Wigan-Saints derby just adds to that sense of unreality.”
The intensity of the contest will also give Wigan a chance to further battle-harden ahead of the play-offs in three weeks’ time.
“I believe Saints are the best team in the comp and have been for the last three years,” Singleton said.
“It’s getting ourselves in the mindset for this last block and getting ready for the Grand Final game.
“We’re on the back of a convincing win against Salford, so it’s a good test for us and we’re ready for it. By playing into November it makes it different to any previous season and we have to be mentally as well as physically strong.”
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